Friday, November 07, 2008

Rutabaga Anyone?

On Monday, I stopped in at the Blanchardville Mini-Mall (sounds like a gas station convenience store, but it's really the closest thing we have to a general store) and ran into Ronna, who I hadn't seen in a couple of months. The first thing she said, after "Hi, how ya doin'" was "Do you want some rutabagas?"

My response was, "Um, well, ya, I guess so, a couple maybe."

As we walked to her car, I got the story. Ronna is one of the prime movers behind the annual Yellowstone Lutheran Norwegian Dinner (sorry, no Lutefisk, but they do serve Klub). Last year, Ronna faced a rutabaga shortage, and ran all over Madison from store to store gathering the few available at each stop. And they still ran out before all the dinners were served. That was a problem, because even folks who never eat a rutabaga the other 364 days of the year, do expect them at the Norwegian Dinner. It wasn't a crisis of the same magnitude as running out of lefse would be, but still....

So this year, three different people planted rutabagas in their gardens. Lots of rutabagas. Lots and lots.

So Ronna's trunk was half full of them. And out of kindly feeling for a really good gal, I took a few.

Now my question is, what the heck do I do with them? I mean besides just boiling them up? If anyone has a really tasty rutabaga recipe that isn't too hard, please respond ASAP.


Cyndi in BC said...

Hi Cindy, rutabagas are common fare in my household. We like them mashed like potatoes, cut into sticks for the veggie plate with dip and you can even fry them like french fries.

Did you know that rutabagas are a natural diuretic when eaten raw, great for those puffy days we women all get. HTH. :)

Kitty Mommy said...

Excellent stew veggie! I'm not a huge fan of the texture, myself, but Grandma always put them in beef stew with the other root veggies: carrots, potatoes, etc.

CatBookMom said...

Never met a live rutabaga, sorry, but it looks like you have some experienced cooks giving you ideas. When I visited my mom in central Minnesota, we asked about lutefisk, but the locals advised against trying it, lol!

The odd thing we have trouble finding is corned beef, even when we shop more than a week before St Pat's.

Linda L said...

Years ago I was invited to Thanksgiving dinner hosted at an ex-boyfriend's parents' home. His mom made whipped rutabagas - boiled 'em, mashed 'em, and whipped in a bunch of real butter with the electric mixer. She may have added a bit of milk; I don't know. But they were awesome!

My Late Grandma's Joy Of Cooking (c. 1953, it's a scream to read) has a recipe for baked rutabagas that sounds like it might be good:
Quarter and pare 2 bunches small rutabagas and boil until tender.
Drain & place in shallow baking dish.
Spread with buttered seasoned bread crumbs. (Doesn't say how much... to taste, I guess.)
Add 1/2 cup rich milk or sweet or sour cream, 1/4 tsp paprika, and 1 tsp grated onion.
Bake in 400° oven until brown.
Garnish with chopped parsley.

Hmm, JOC says you can substitute rutabagas in any turnip recipe. There's one for "turnip cups" - think baked stuffed peppers - filled with a butter/onion/breadcrumb/salt pepper mixture and baked in a milk bath... there's even a recipe for scalloped turnips. who knew the humble root vegetable was so versatile?

Darn. Now I'm hungry! :)

Anonymous said...

What's Klub? (My Norwegian ancestors are turning over in their graves right now.)

YarnThrower said...

Sorry -- Not a big fan of the rutabaga, though I did eat some at a Norwegian dinner (which my husband takes us to once a year) -- I only eat them once a year, and only because they're good for me, not really because I like the taste, though with all of the butter, brown sugar, etc., not sure they're actually even good for me...

junior_goddess said...

Never ever tasted them. I would think they would be similar to turnips, which I am fine with.

I suggest you slice them in rounds, toss them with a few Tbsp of olive oil, and toss them on a baking sheet (not touching) and bake at 400 for 20 min or til they are done. Most veggies are good that way!

smariek said...

I'm not sure I've ever eaten one of those before. Can't wait to see what you end up doing with them.

MollyBeees said...

Hey There. I missed this last week-sorry! I take carrots, potatoes, rutabega and parsnips and boil them altogether and mash with butter and salt pepper-Good root mash!

I also chunk all of the above alone with sweet potatoes and beets and roast them in the oven with olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper sprinkled over. Yum!